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State of the Union, An America Built to Last, and Tackling Rising College Costs: Deputies' Download

President Obama delivers the State of the Union address and outlines his Blueprint for an America Built to Last, then travels to Iowa, Nevada and Colorado to discuss the ideas from his speech.

Even though this year’s State of the Union address has come and gone, its message has not. The President laid out a Blueprint for an America Built to Last, a series of ideas to build an economy that works for everyone, one that will bring about a new era of American manufacturing and promote homegrown and alternative energy sources. The President believes that when we act together, in common purpose and common effort, there is nothing the United States of America cannot achieve.

President Obama wants to hear from you. Today at 5:30 p.m. ET, he will answer your questions about the State of the Union in a first-ever Google+ Hangout from the White House. You can submit your questions and vote for your favorite questions on YouTube.

Last Wednesday, the President traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa where he described how he intends to continue the 22 months of job growth that have created 3.2 million jobs. The President discussed the importance of American manufacturing. Specifically, he laid out a reform package that supports manufacturing, discourages outsourcing, and encourages insourcing – and it won’t add a dime to the deficit.

On Thursday, he traveled to a UPS facility in Las Vegas, focusing on the importance of American workers developing American-made energy for an economy that’s built to last. Later that day he went to Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado to discuss the steps the Administration is taking to promote energy security.

On Friday, the President went to the University of Michigan where he laid out a comprehensive approach to tackle rising college costs.  The fact is, higher education can’t be a luxury – it’s an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.

President Barack Obama Delivers The State Of The Union Address In The House Chamber

President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 24, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama looks at an agricultural auger in Cedar Rapids

President Barack Obama looks at an agricultural auger while touring Conveyer Engineering and Manufacturing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Jan. 25, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Blog Highlights

Champions of Change

Leaders in Catholic schools and universities across the country were honored last Wednesday, January 25th as White House Champions of Change for their service to their communities and our country. These extraordinary individuals have made a significant impact on students, families, and educators through Catholic schools and universities across America. Their innovative ideas and dedication to students and to the wider community demonstrate the strong commitment to ensuring that every child has an opportunity for greatness.

The Champions of Change series spotlights everyday heroes who are demonstrating commitment to improving their own communities, their country, or the lives of their fellow citizens. We are looking for you to nominate someone who is doing extraordinary things to make a difference in your community as a “Champion of Change.”

Get Involved

For more information about ways to get involved, check out the Office of Public Engagement’s blog, which is updated daily with upcoming engagement opportunities. Follow Jon Carson, Director of the Office of Public Engagement, on Twitter @JonCarson44. He is looking forward to hearing your responses to the State of the Union address, so be sure to tweet at him and use the #SOTU hashtag.

A few weeks ago, President Obama and Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced the Summer Jobs+ Initiative, a call-to-action for American business, nonprofits, and government to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth in the summer of 2012. Our goal is to provide 250,000 summer job opportunities for America’s youth. We need your help to reach our goal. Employers can commit to offering employment opportunities for youth this summer by signing up HERE. Youth and communities can sign-up HERE to be alerted when the jobs bank goes live.

Get Updates

For more information, visit the White House Office of Public Engagement blog and sign up for additional opportunities.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback at

Anne Filipic and Stephanie Valencia are Deputy Directors in the Office of Public Engagement.